The statutory penalties for driving while intoxicated (DWI) are extensive and can result in long-lasting consequences. One of the less talked about penalties of DWI is what it can do to your vehicle insurance. Having a DWI conviction on your driving record can have long-term effects on your insurance policy. That is because after a DWI conviction you must file a Form SR-22 Insurance Certificate with the Department of Public Safety (DPS).
The SR-22 is a certificate verifying you’ve maintained your motor liability insurance. Most providers issue this type of certificate, but it’s important to note the SR-22 policy has expensive minimum liability amounts. If you want to keep your license after your conviction, then you’ll have to submit a SR-22 with the Department of Public Safety.
It can be stressful on you and your finances to file an SR-22. That is why we highly recommend you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney if you’ve been charged with DWI in Texas.
SR-22 Vehicle Insurance Brownsville Attorney, TX | Insurance After DWI
The statutory penalties for DWI are incredibly serious and may include time behind bars, steep court fines, community service, participation in a drug/alcohol course, probation, and more. The consequences for the act can even stem into your insurance since you’ll be required to file an SR-22 Insurance Certificate with DPS if you want to maintain your license.
To avoid these penalties, we highly encourage you to call an experienced Brownsville DWI defense lawyer with The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. Our experienced DUI defense lawyers have defended hundreds of people and secured reduced/dismissed charges as a result of their legal defense. Call The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. today at 956-504-2211 to set up your first consultation today. The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. accepts clients throughout all parts of Cameron County and surrounding counties including Hidalgo County and Willacy County.
- What is SR-22 Insurance in Texas?
- Cost of SR-22 Insurance a Month
- Penalty for Not Filing SR-22
- Additional Resources
What is SR-22 Insurance in Texas?
The consequences for driving while intoxicated (DWI) are extensive and can bleed into your insurance premiums. If you want to maintain your license after your conviction, you’ll have to file a Financial Responsibility Insurance Certificate (SR-22) with the Department of Public Safety. The form is essentially an endorsement to your current policy and certifies you have the minimum liability amount required under Texas law.
You must file an SR-22 with the Department of Public Safety if you were convicted of:
- Driving while intoxicated (DWI)
- Driving without insurance or with multiple unpaid tickets
- Driving on a suspended license
- Failure to pay the full amount of the liability claim
- You were issued excessive traffic tickets in a period of time
From the starting date of your conviction, you’ll be obligated to file and maintain your SR-22 insurance consistently for two years. To file the form, you’ll have to pay a reinstatement fee of $225 as well if you want your license reinstated.
You can obtain an SR-22 by calling your local insurance provider. Most insurers in Texas offer a type of SR-22 Insurance and if you don’t own a vehicle you can ask about the Non-Owner SR-22 Certificate. That way you can maintain the minimum liability amounts and be legally allowed to drive another person’s car.
Once you’ve filed your SR-22, it’s imperative you keep your SR-22 on you at all times while driving. Having your insurance card will not be enough for law enforcement if you’re pulled over. You must have a copy of the certificate to show the officer if they ask during a stop. If not, you may be arrested for driving on a suspended or invalid license.
How Much Does SR-22 Insurance Cost a Month?
An SR-22 is proof to DPS and law enforcement you have maintained the minimum liability amounts by law after your DWI conviction. The minimum liability overage amounts required by law include the following:
- $30,000 — Bodily injury/death of a person
- $60,000 — Bodily injury/death of two or more people
- $25,000 – Damage/destruction of property of others
The cost of an insurance policy associated with SR-22 will vary, but generally it’s more expensive than a policy without the certificate. A SR-22 filing will likely hike your rates up to an average of 89% according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). In some cases, the rates may be increased as much as 375%. Based on a rate analysis by Carinsurance.com, an SR-22 filing may cost around $230 a month with a filing fee between $15 to $50.
Consequences of Not Filing a SR-22 After DUI
You might think you can avoid filing an SR-22 after your DWI conviction, but unfortunately the Department of Public Safety doesn’t make it easy. All insurance providers are required to inform DPS if you have terminated, lapsed or cancelled your insurance policy. They will report to DPS if you haven’t filed a SR-22 after your conviction and DPS will then automatically suspend your license until you do file one.
If you drive without filing an SR-22, then you’re technically driving with a suspended or invalid license. Driving without a proper license is actually a crime in Texas, so if you’re pulled over by law enforcement you’ll be arrested. Driving with a suspended license is a class C misdemeanor, which is punishable by $500. If you have a history of driving without a valid license, then your offense may be reclassified to a class A misdemeanor.
SR-22 Certificate – Visit the official website of Texas Department of Public Safety to learn more about SR-22 insurance certificates and how to file one after a DWI conviction. Access the site to learn about how you can get your license reinstated, DPS contact information and how to check your current driver eligibility status.
Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility Act – Visit the official website of the Texas Transportation Code to get the 101 on auto liability insurance laws in Texas. Access the statute to learn more about requirements to maintain insurance, how to get proof of financial responsibility, and penalties in civil court for failing to keep up with your insurance.
Cameron County DWI Attorney for SR-22 Insurance | Brownsville, TX
If you or someone you know has been charged with DWI, it’s imperative you seek legal counsel as soon as possible. A DWI conviction can have a lasting impact to not just your freedom, but your financial health. You may be required to pay huge insurance premiums after DWI because you’ll have to file a SR-22. To learn more about the consequences of DWI and how to avoid them, call our office today at The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. .
The Cameron County DWI defense attorneys at The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. have years of experience aggressively fighting for their client’s rights. We can assess your charges and develop an efficient and effective defense plan for you. Call The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. today at 956-504-2211 to set up your first consultation in Cameron County, Hidalgo County, and Willacy County.